Tulare County Library to host District Attorney Tim Ward Jan. 18 for a Golden State Killer presentation and update; book discussion Jan. 26
TULARE COUNTY – The Tulare County Library will be hosting District Attorney Tim Ward Jan. 18 for a virtual presentation on the Golden State Killer and for those interested in the science of genetic forensics.
The library will also be holding a book discussion Jan. 26 on Michelle McNamara’s I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer, the New York Times bestseller and award-winning book chronicling years of meticulous research and assisted law enforcement in their investigations.
Joseph James DeAngelo Jr.—a former Visalia resident and Exeter police officer—known as the the Golden State Killer, the East Area Rapist, the Original Night Stalker and the Visalia Ransacker, is currently serving out 13 consecutive life sentences at Corcoran State Prison just 30 miles from where his history of horrifying crimes began more than 45 years ago.
DeAngelo was arrested at his Citrus Heights home in 2018 thanks to the advent of consumer DNA profiles like GEDmatch.com, through which investigators were able to link crime scene DNA to a relative of DeAngelo’s.
In June 2020, DeAngelo pleaded to 13 murders, 13 kidnappings and 62 different rapes. He also admitted to 161 other uncharged crimes relating to 61 uncharged victims, all in exchange for avoiding the death penalty.
DeAngelo began his serial criminal behavior in 1974 in nearby Visalia while serving as a police officer in the city of Exeter. As the Visalia Ransacker, DeAngelo burglarized 100 homes between April 1974 and December 1975, culminating with the attempted kidnapping of Beth Snelling and the shooting and killing of her father, COS professor Claude Snelling on Sept. 11, 1975. The Visalia Ransacker crimes ended with the shooting of Visalia Police Detective Bill McGowan, whose task force was closing in on DeAngelo. Shortly after the incident, DeAngelo took a job with the Auburn Police Department in 1976 about the same time the East Area Rapist committed more than 50 rapes and murdered two people until July 1979 in and around Sacramento County. DeAngelo went on to kill 10 more people in Southern California as the Original Night Stalker from 1979 until 1986.